Thursday, March 31, 2011

Scalloped Shrimp and Potatoes with Onion Crescent Rolls

Recipe modified by You Want Me to Cook? on February 11, 2011
For a commentary-free and printer-friendly version of it, please click here.

Scalloped Shrimp and Potatoes recipe originally published in Simple and Delicious, December/January 2011.
Onion Crescent Rolls recipe originally published in Taste of Home, Holiday Collection 2008.

When I saw the picture of the Scalloped Shrimp and Potatoes it was being served with sesame seed breadsticks.  I immediately began to scan my recipes for something similar – which I eventually found – but I could not stop my brain from wanting to make these Onion Crescent Rolls.  I looked at the shrimp recipe a little closer and realized that they would work well since there wouldn’t be much competing spice in the cheesy shrimp and potatoes.

© You Want Me to Cook?
Scalloped Shrimp and Potatoes with Onion Crescent Rolls

My only regret is that it doesn't have a lot of color to the dish.  The crescent roll kind of blends into the shrimp and potatoes.  Of course, that has nothing to do with taste or texture.  I just like my food to be pretty as well.

Tell me the shrimp styled by Taste of Home doesn’t look delicious.  I try to stay away from boxed food as much as possible, but I do like to make quick meals every once in a while.  I figured the amount of baby spinach in the dish would offset any bad stuff found in the boxed potatoes.  What I saw was the cheesy goodness of the potatoes.  I was sold.

My finished product:

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Scalloped Shrimp and Potatoes

Picture published with recipe:

© Taste of Home
I’ll admit that my shrimp looks a tad bit more “cheesy” than the original recipe.  I swear I didn’t add any additional cheese.  Perhaps the brand of scalloped potato I bought (Aldi store brand) was substantially cheesier than the one used by Taste of Home.  Mine does look delicious, though.

As I said before, I was looking for a sesame breadstick recipe when I rediscovered this crescent roll recipe I’ve had for well over 2 years.  I would find something vaguely similar to the breadstick and then I’d think about warm and buttery onion rolls.  They seemed like a lot of work, but I figured they would be well worth the trouble.

My finished product:

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Onion Crescent Rolls
Picture published with recipe:

© Taste of Home
I was quite proud of my crescent rolls.  Although I’ll probably never get the knack for rolling them into that perfect crescent shape, or get them all the same size, they still look just as brown and buttery as the original.  I believe these little devils lasted about 30 seconds after I took the picture.  Seriously… picture me snapping pictures checking each one to see if it looked good, finding The One, screaming “GOT IT” and then practically tossing my camera away so I could shove one in my mouth.

for more details about what my ratings mean, go to Gretchen’s Rating System

MessYIKES – I’m sure you can guess which recipe gave me the most grief.  The sticky dough came close to pushing me over the edge, but I also had to factor in the cheesy potatoes.  I HATE cleaning up after melted cheese.

Start-to-Finish Time: OVER FOUR HOURS – Yes, you read that right.  See, recipe writers don’t really want to give you ridiculous preparation times, even if they are mostly hands-off, because people won’t make them.  The way the recipe is written, it should have taken me a little over 2 hours, but I had issues getting my assembled rolls to rise the second time.  Granted, it was freezing cold in my house, which caused issues, but still.

Prep Work: SLIGHT BLOOD LOSS – Even thought the onion for the crescent rolls needs to be diced (meaning small) the spinach is coarsely chopped and there’s no other prep work.

Ease of Recipe: MORE THAN I BARGAINED FOR Again, the shrimp dish would have inspired a COOK IT IN MY SLEEP rating by itself, but the crescent rolls… sigh.  It wasn’t that they were hard to make, it was more about getting frustrated when I couldn’t get the dough to rise.  Well that and the mess.

OverallYUMMY Together or independently, these were delicious.  I swear I’m going to make the Onion Crescent Rolls for our next holiday gathering.

Recipe Information:
Time estimates are from the original publisher of the recipe, not the length of time it took me to create it.  Look for my comments below.  Nutritional Information is based on original recipe.  Any changes I make to reduce the caloric, fat, cholesterol or sodium content are not reflected in the Nutritional Information.

Prep Time: 30 minutes + rising
Bake/Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 24 (Onion Crescent Rolls) / 4 (Scalloped Shrimp and Potatoes)

Nutritional Information – Onion Crescent Rolls (1 roll)
  • Calories 140
  • Total Fat 6g (Saturated Fat 3g)
  • Cholesterol 32mg
  • Sodium 108mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 192g
  • Fiber 1g
  • Protein 3g
Nutritional Information – Scalloped Shrimp and Potatoes (1 cup)
  • Calories 362
  • Total Fat 12g (Saturated Fat 7g)
  • Cholesterol 201mg
  • Sodium 925mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 30g
  • Fiber 4g
  • Protein 33g
Nutritional Information – entire meal
  • Calories 502
  • Total Fat 18g (Saturated Fat 10g)
  • Cholesterol 233mg
  • Sodium 1033mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 212g
  • Fiber 5g
  • Protein 36g
As I said before, the timing of the crescent rolls is very deceiving.  You’ve got about 1½ hours of rising time, and that’s if you’re lucky.  If you are making these in the winter and your house has a chill, forget that amount of time.  Here is my breakdown:

Onion Crescent Rolls
  • Prep Time: 7 minutes
  • Making Dough: 29 minutes
  • First Rise: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Assemble Crescent Rolls: 18 minutes
  • Second Rise 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 24 minutes
Scalloped Shrimp and Potatoes
  • Prep Time: 9 minutes
  • Cook Time: 27 minutes
  • Total Time: 36 minutes
Even if your second rise is the 30 minutes they suggest, you can make the scalloped shrimp and potatoes during that time.  The extra 6 minutes won’t hurt anything.

At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to get 4 servings out of the scalloped shrimp, but I did.  A little goes a long way, especially if you’re eating it with a crescent roll and a nice salad.  As for the nutritional information, I thought the calories were going to be much higher.  The fat wasn’t all that great, though, and I slimmed it down a little by using skim milk and reduced fat cheese.  The sodium level wasn’t too great either, but that’s from the boxed potatoes.  Not many options out there, but I give a suggestion or two in the ingredient notes.

Changes denoted by red text

Onion Crescent Rolls:
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened, divided
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 package (¼ ounce) active dry yeast
1 cup warm skim milk (110°F to 115°F)
1 cup chopped onion
½ teaspoon salt
3½ to 4½ cups all-purpose flour
Cooking spray

Scalloped Shrimp and Potatoes:
1 package (4.9 ounces) scalloped potatoes
2¼ cups water
1/3 cup skim milk
1 pound peeled and deveined cooked medium shrimp
3 cups fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced fat Colby-Monterey Jack cheese

Ingredient Notes:
Skim Milk – skim milk is what we drink – okay, actually we’re now drinking soy milk, but when we want or need “regular” milk, we go for skim.  Needless to say, I’m not going to buy whole milk for a recipe or two; therefore, I used the skim milk I had on hand.  Besides, skim milk has zero fat, a very small amount of cholesterol and a third-less calories.  Even 1% has half the fat and cholesterol in it. 

Onion – to get 1 cup chopped onion, you'll need 2 small onions.  The recipe doesn’t specify what type of onion to use, so I opted for white onion.

Flour – I used the full 4½ cups for the recipe.  4 cups were used while making the dough and I used the remaining ½ cup while kneading it.

Cooking Spray – it wasn’t listed in the ingredient listing, but you have to leave the dough to rise in a greased bowl and greased baking sheets.

Scalloped Potatoes – I looked around for a boxed scalloped potato that was reduced sodium, but I couldn’t find one off hand, at least on-line.  That is a pretty big indication to me that they don’t make them, since ordinarily I have the exact opposite problem – I find it on-line and not in the stores.  If you have the time, you can always make your own, and I found A LOT of low sodium homemade scalloped recipes on-line.

Shrimp – you can buy frozen, cooked shrimp in the seafood case which is the cheapest option.  Yes, you can buy raw shrimp and cook it, but again, if you’re looking for fast, this is just going to add more time to your recipe.

Reduced-Fat Colby-Monterey Jack Cheese – to help reduce calories, cholesterol and fat, I selected a reduced-fat cheese.  At the moment, I’m a little more concerned about sodium levels, and there are reduced sodium shredded cheeses out there.  They tend to still have low calorie, cholesterol and fat numbers, but they aren’t as low as the reduced-fat.

Equipment Needed:
© You Want Me to Cook?
Onion Crescent Rolls
Equipment Needed
Cutting board
Sharp knife
Stand mixer
Plastic scraper
Glass measuring cup
Spoon - mixing
Large bowl
Plastic wrap
Rolling pin
Pizza cutter
Small bowl – melting butter
© You Want Me to Cook?
Scalloped Shrimp and Potatoes
Equipment Needed

Pastry brush
Baking sheets
Flexible spatula
Wire racks
Dutch oven / Large skillet with lid
Large spoon

Equipment Notes:
Stand Mixer – the recipe doesn’t specify what equipment you should use to beat the bread into a dough, but my stand mixer seemed like the easiest choice.

Glass Measuring Cup – I wanted to heat the milk in the microwave and glass is the better option since plastic can affect the taste of the milk.

Thermometer – to get the temperature of the milk “just right” is used my electronic meat thermometer.  It worked great!

Pizza Cutter – it makes it easier to cut the dough since you aren’t dragging a knife.  Also, you don’t have to worry about using a cutting board.

Flexible Spatula – a flexible spatula is great for delicate food like pastries or breaded meats/fish/poultry.  If you don’t have one, definitely pick one up!

Wire Racks – wire/cooling racks are a necessity since they allow the heat and steam to escape from the crescent rolls evenly and from all areas.  If they are left on the baking sheet they are baked on, the steam and heat has nowhere to go but back into the roll, which could make them soggy.  Also, it helps them to cool faster, which is kinda nice if you’re like me and can’t wait to eat them.

Dutch Oven / Large Skillet with Lid – the original recipe called for a large skillet, but I used my Dutch oven.  You can use a large skillet, but make sure your skillet is large and deep and comes with a lid.  If it isn’t and doesn’t, then use your Dutch oven instead.

Although I usually say to prep all the ingredients before beginning cooking, you don’t have to prep both recipes before starting.  Prep the onion crescent roll ingredients first and when you get ready to make the Scalloped Shrimp and Potatoes, prep those ingredients.

(1)  Assemble Crescent Rolls:
(a)  In the bowl of the stand mixer, cream ½ cup butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

The original recipe said “in a large bowl”, but since I used my stand mixer, I used the bowl that comes with it.  It is large AND has as handle.

(b)  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping sides.

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Onion Crescent Rolls
Activating Yeast
(c)  Dissolve yeast in warm milk; add to creamed mixture.
 Heat the milk in the microwave 10 seconds at a time, checking each 10 seconds with a thermometer to get it to the correct heat range.  Shoot for the higher end of the range just in case you can't use the milk immediately.
The yeast should slightly foam as it activates.  With most bread recipes, you have to let the yeast sit for a specified amount of time (usually around 5 minutes) but this recipe doesn’t have that activation time built into it.

(d)  Add the onion, salt and 1 cup flour; beat until blended.

(e)  Stir in enough remaining flour, approximately 3 more cups, to form a soft dough.
(f)  Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.

I used the additional ½ cup flour while kneading because the dough was still sticky while kneading.  Having made bread before, you have to keep putting additional flour on your kneading surface, so instead of my dough getting too dry, I decided to use the flour to my advantage.

© You Want Me to Cook?
Onion Crescent Rolls
Dough Before First Rise
(g)  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

When I added my dough to the bowl, it sizzled!  I still have no idea why.  Since my house was quite chilly, I had some issues with the “warm place” part of the instruction.  So I put my dough in front of my oven’s vent with it set on “warm”.

© You Want Me to Cook?
Onion Crescent Rolls
Dough After First Rise
(h)  Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half.
(i)  Stretch each portion into a circle and roll out to 12"; cut each circle into 12 wedges with a pizza cutter.

Since I did this twice, I found the easiest approach to getting the dough in a circle was to stretch into a circle before rolling it thin.  The first time I didn’t do that and had to really work the rolling pin to get it circular.

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Onion Crescent Rolls
Assembled & Before Second Rise
(j)  Roll up wedges from the wide end and place point side down 2" apart on greased baking sheets. Curve ends down to form crescents.

© You Want Me to Cook?
Onion Crescent Rolls
After Second Rise
(k)  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.

(2)  Make Shrimp:
(a)  In a Dutch oven, combine the potatoes, contents of sauce mix, water and milk.
(b)  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
(c)  Add shrimp and spinach. Cook and stir until spinach is wilted.
(d)  Stir in cheese until melted.
(3)  Bake Crescent Rolls:
(a)  Bake at 400°F for 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pans to wire racks.

I only baked my crescent rolls for 9 minutes and they were a beautiful brown.  Set your timer for 9 minutes and then watch them closely after that.

(b)  Melt remaining butter; brush over warm rolls.
The shrimp was super simple to make and incredibly delicious.  I served mine with a large salad and honestly, you could have bought breadsticks or used the pre-made dough.  My onion rolls were incredible though.  They were well worth the work, although I won’t be making them every week.

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